Oct 30, 2010

Voting to select host of 2018 and 2022 WC tournaments on December 2, 2010

Fifa president Sepp Blatter says the vote to decide who will host the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments will still take place on December 2 this year.

Fifa has made the decision despite two of its executive members being suspended for allegedly selling votes.

"We are five weeks from the final decision so there was never a question of changing anything," said Blatter.

"So on 2 December the Fifa executive committee will decide in a secret ballot the hosts for 2018 and 2022."

Although Fifa has decided to press ahead with the voting schedule Blatter did admit it may have been a mistake to run the bidding process for the two competitions at the same time.

The two Fifa executive members who have been suspended are Nigerian Amos Adamu and Tahiti's Reynald Temarii, and the pair are under investigation by the organisation's ethics panel.

Blatter confirmed that a ruling on their future is expected on 17 November and, if the two are not reinstated, then only 22 Fifa executive members will cast a vote instead of the full 24.
"This is an uncomfortable situation for Fifa but we must say that inside Fifa we have the necessary instruments to react properly," said Blatter at Fifa headquarters in Zurich.

"The ethics committee is addressing a case that involves allegations of possible corruption. We will deal with them according to current regulations.

"If and when people are suspended for the vote on 2 December they will not be replaced."
In a campaign process dogged by controversy, the Fifa ethics committee is also looking into claims of collusion between the joint Spain and Portugal bid and that of Qatar, although both teams have denied all allegations.

Spain and Portugal are vying with England, Russia and a joint bid from the Netherlands and Belgium to stage the 2018 World Cup.

In the race to host the 2022 competition, Australia, Qatar, Japan/South Korea and the United States are in the running.

Meanwhile, as the bidding process intensifies Russia sports minister Vitaly Mutko has issued an apology to England's campaign team.

England 2018 had lodged a complaint with Fifa following comments from Russia bid chief Alexei Sorokin denigrating London.
Drawing a line under the incident, Football League president Lord Mawhinney said: "I gather in Zurich everybody has had a figurative hug and we move on to the decision on 2 December. "I look forward to helping to make the final presentation of England's case. I think we are very competitive."

In terms of choosing the World Cup hosts, the 2018 vote will take place before the 2022 vote. Ahead of the voting, each campaign will get a 30-minute slot to deliver a final presentation - this will happen on 1 December for the 2022 candidates and 2 December for the 2018 hopefuls.

A bid must earn a majority to claim victory, and if two bids are tied then Blatter will have the deciding vote.

After the drawing of lots, Belgium/Netherlands will be the first presentation on 2 December, followed by Spain/Portugal, England and Russia.

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